Seeing the future hot spells

Seeing the future hot spells

Tapping satellite data to better predict killer heat waves

By Sid Perkins, 12:03 PM March 13, 2009

Satellite observations of soil moisture, combined with regional climate models, could help scientists better predict the size and scope of future heat waves, a new study suggests.

One of the most devastating heat waves in recent years struck Europe in 2003 (SN: 7/3/04, p. 10). Along with an estimated 70,000 heat-related deaths across the continent — many of them in France, the epicenter of the heat wave — droughts before and during the hot spell helped trigger forest fires and crop losses, ...

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